Tuesday, October 30, 2012

"Let's market Paintball to Elderly Women"

At least that is what I assume was the conversation in the staffroom of an Auckland Paintball business.

Today I saw an extravagant pop-up display at my local mall.  Like most suburban malls, my local is a plethora of elderly women, mums & small children.

So what were these Paintball guys doing there?  I couldn't help myself - I casually strolled up to them and asked why they were spending their marketing budget there.

Turns out they go around all the malls with the same set-up, and hit this mall about once a year.  They had indeed made sales - early Christmas presents for husbands, boyfriends & dads - so at least they came at a good angle.

But they couldn't have made many sales - my sister and I were watching with interest and I didn't see any conversions during the course of our lunch.  And surely that's the busiest time...

With all of your marketing efforts, always ALWAYS look at what you're doing and think to yourself:  "Is this the best way to reach our target audience?"  Don't just do something because it works for another business. 

My estimate is they spent about $1000 today to hire the space & pay two staff - that's money down the drain.  Christmas is coming up fast so here's what I would suggest as a marketing strategy with that time & budget:

  1. Focus on offering Group deals to local sports clubs & businesses
  2. Phone these places, ask who the best person would be to talk to about the upcoming Christmas Party
  3. Get their details, add them to your call list (even if they have Christmas Party sussed, you can follow them up for team events next year)
  4. Visit each place with business card & brouchure
  5. Collect business cards at each place you visit, follow up, ask if you can add them to emailing list
  6. Google Adwords (Christmas party venues, paintball, team activities etc.)
  7. Facebook Ads 

Creating a plan to market directly to your prospects long-term beats selling 1-off passes to grandmothers - at a loss. 

What do you think?

1 comment:

  1. I've worked at paintball fields for the last 16 or so years in New Zealand, and I know exactly who you are referring to. I'm not a fan of that strategy for reasons I can' t go into (last time I criticised it I got an angry lawyers letter), but for that particular business it works - at least in the short term.

    Personally, I'm more interested in long term, repeat customers.

    Our strategy is a lot different, our focus is highly on social media (we have probably the most active social page for paintball in NZ), writing interesting and useful articles for people involved in paintball, airsoft, laser tag (we offer all 3 at the venue) as well as interactive stands at large scale events (such as expos, fairs etc) where people can actually use the gear (for free) before getting a free entry/hire to our field.

    Above all our pricing model is clear, without any hidden costs. And customer service is a number one priority, because after all, customer service is part of the marketing mix.

    This works really well, results in happy customers who are more than happy to give us great reviews on facebook, tripadvisor, localist etc.


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